Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court offers up all kinds of opportunity for political posturing, and that impacts not only politicians but the media outlets, too. He is a confirmed conservative with a history of conservatism. He has a streak of individualism which could show in various decisions, but he will be a pretty steady and reliable conservative.
This, of course, is anathema to the liberals. They will get to the point of “hair-on-fire” if not already at that point. This is a great way to see where President Trump is headed, and it is potentially a good way to see just how tough the Republicans plan to play their hand over the course of time.
There is, however, still the ‘problem’ in the way Congress works. The archaic posturing still found in how Congress conducts its business typically inures to the benefit of Democrats who have the ability to drive the bargain AND take maximum advantage of that all the while decrying similar approaches from the other side of the aisle. The hearings, which serve as fodder for the press and watchers, are quite predictable. Republicans are squeamish about using their power while Democrats love the use of subterfuge to trick the opposition.
When Republicans do show some moxie, it is usually short-lived since the reliably liberal press jumps in and portrays them as obstructionists bent on destroying the country.
Against this backdrop, we find President Donald Trump who is the seemingly strongest-willed person Republicans have had in that office for years. There is a question as to how malleable the Republicans will be in this term of Congress given the President’s penchant for using confrontation in his deal-making. While with the immediate past president we had an idea that he would skulk around the hallways to somehow get his way, we have an idea that President Trump will choose to assert his positions more vocally and more publicly. He fancies himself as the consummate deal-maker and has a history of making big deals that favor his position. His idea of compromise is simply giving back a little bit of his advantage to make others feel good about settling for a deal.
There are two unknowns in the equation. The Democrats and the Republicans. Will the Democrats, who always seem to best the Republicans in deals feel the wrath of President Trump who is not shy about making his negotiations public when that betters his position? Will the Republicans find they can drive better deals holding the threat of a Presidential veto over the heads of the opposition?
That might occur once in awhile, but I doubt we’ll see a wholesale change in political posturing on the part of the Republicans. That is almost asking too much of them given the milquetoasty history.
President Trump will drive whatever change we might see since he will be creating a stiffer backbone in his own party to make that happen. We have seen how difficult such a metamorphosis has been for the Republicans in the past; there is little evidence that even a person such as President Trump will hold much sway over such a change.
For we conservatives, the waffling of Republicans is maddening. Democrats will do and/or say almost anything to get their way. Republicans have almost invariably been victimized by the Dems and their bulldog tenacity.
Maybe there will be some change in that posturing given President Trump, but I expect this may well still be a ‘heavy lift’ even for Trump’s Whitehouse. If this opportunity is squandered, even in part, there could be a long future in the wilderness for conservatism, and that would not be good for our country let alone for conservatives.